Gaia House fundraisers and community donations have raised enough money for the interfaith center to continue operations, Gaia House president said Wednesday.
In addition to fundraising, Tabitha Ayres, the center’s president, said the center has made several changes to ensure operations.
“Right now business has inevitably slowed down because it is summer, but we have just kicked off a new membership drive, so things are looking hopeful,” she said.
Ayres announced in January that the center had lost $8,127 during fiscal year 2011, leaving the facility with only enough money to survive on a month-to-month basis. Since then the organization has asked for donations from the community, among other fundraisers, in order to stay open. The new membership program allows visitors to pay a $5 monthly fee to receive discounts on merchandise and access to special member only events.
The center was established in 1943 and serves as a place for many different organizations to meet, including its own self-titled Registered Student Organization. The center is a meeting place for people of many faiths, traditions and cultures, according to its website.
Throughout the spring semester the organization’s Board of Directors lacked many positions, including a president.
Ayres, who joined the Gaia House Board of Directors as interim chair facilitator in an attempt to straighten out finances, said at that point the organization had a slim chance of survival. She said the problem stemmed from a lack of consistent payment after an annual donation that totals a quarter of the house’s budget was unexpectedly not made this year.
Ayres said the Board of Directors’ strategy was to be as dedicated as possible and to get the community involved. Since January, the House has made several fundraising efforts such as a spring fling party and opening a daily cafe.
While the proceeds were able to keep the organization afloat, Aryes said they needed something more consistent to assure their security, and then added the membership program.
The Gaia House has made it a goal to gain 300 memberships in 30 days
Ayres said aside from that the board is focusing on expanding into the community and the university.
“We are coming up with a plan to really make the students involved in the fall. Right now we are very community based which is nice, but it would be a great benefit to close the current disconnect between the students and the house,” she said.
Ayres said she hopes for the Gaia House to soon be a flourishing part of the community.